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Astrophytum capricorne (*)

Astrophytum capricorne, the goat's horn cactus, is a species of flowering plant in the cactus family Cactaceae, that is native to the Coahuila regions of Northern Mexico.[2] Growing to 25 centimetres (9.8 in) tall by 10 centimetres (3.9 in) wide in a ball or oval shape, it is grey-green in colour with 7 to 9 prominent ribs, very long twisted spines and yellow flowers with a red centre in summer.[3]

The common name of goat's horn cactus corresponds to the species identifier capricorne (capri meaning “goat” and corne meaning “horn”) [4] referring to the curved spines that are said to resemble a goat's horns.[2]

This species is designated as of "least concern"[1] by the IUCN as it is widely distributed in the Chihuahuan desert.

1 Cultivation
2 Further reading
3 References
4 External links


This species is grown, typically from seed, as an ornamental plant as it produces large, attractive yellow flowers with red central regions.[2] Some cultivars bear white flecking on the plant body while others lack this feature.[5] Though tolerant of cold temperatures, it must be grown in a warm, sheltered spot which does not freeze in winter. The soil should be poor, alkaline and very sharply drained. Alternatively it can be grown under glass in a pot with cactus compost. In cultivation in the UK, Astrophytum capricorne has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.[3]
Astrophytum capricorne in flower
Astrophytum capricorne var. crassispinum
Astrophytum capricorne var. senile

Prominent varieties and cultivars include:

Astrophytum capricorne ‘Crassispinoides‘
Astrophytum capricorne var. crassispinum
Astrophytum capricorne var. minus
Astrophytum capricorne var. niveum
Astrophytum capricorne var. senile
Astrophytum capricorne var. aureum[2]

Further reading

Mandujano, Maria; Bravo, Yolotzin; Verhulst, Johannes; Carrillo-Angeles, Israel; Golubov, Jordan (Feb 2015). "The population dynamics of an endemic collectible cactus". Acta Oecologica. 64: 1–7. doi:10.1016/j.actao.2014.12.004.

Fitz Maurice, B.; Sotomayor, M.; Fitz Maurice, W.A.; Hernández, H.M.; Smith, M. (2017). "Astrophytum capricorne". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T152404A121473566. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-3.RLTS.T152404A121473566.en. Retrieved 11 November 2021.
"Astrophytum capricorne". Retrieved 2017-03-11.
"RHS Plantfinder - Astrophytum capricorne". Royal Horticultural Society. Retrieved 12 January 2018.
"Astrophytum capricorne (A. Dietrich) Britton & Rose | ISI 2016". Retrieved 2017-03-11.
"Astrophytum capricorne - Goat's Horn Cactus | World of Succulents". World of Succulents. 2013-05-07. Retrieved 2017-03-11.

Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Ordo: Caryophyllales

Familia: Cactaceae
Subfamilia: Cactoideae
Tribus: Cacteae
Genus: Astrophytum
Subgenus: A. subg. Astrophytum
Species: Astrophytum capricorne

Astrophytum capricorne (A.Dietr.) Britton & Rose, Cactaceae 3: 184 (1922).

Astrophytum capricorne var. crassispinum (H.Moeller) Okum.
Astrophytum capricorne var. major Frič
Astrophytum capricorne var. minus Frič
Astrophytum capricorne var. orientale Frič
Astrophytum capricorne subsp. senile (Fric) Doweld
Astrophytum crassispinum (H.Moeller) W.Haage & Sadovsky
Astrophytum crassispinum (Moell) W. Haage & Sad.
Astrophytum niveum (K.Kayser) W.Haage & Sadovsky
Astrophytum senile Frič
Astrophytum senile var. aureum (H.Moeller) Backeb.
Echinocactus capricornis A.Dietr.
Echinocactus capricornis var. crassispinus H.Moeller
Echinocactus capricornis var. crassispinus Moell
Echinocactus capricornis var. major Pichon
Echinocactus capricornis var. minor Runge & Quehl
Echinocactus capricornis f. minor (Runge & Quehl) Schelle
Echinocactus capricornis var. niveus K.Kayser
Echinocactus capricornus var. aureus H.Moeller
Echinocactus capricornus var. senilis Frič
Maierocactus capricornis (A. Dietr.) E.C

Native distribution areas:

Continental: Northern America
Regional: Mexico
Mexico Northeast

References: Brummitt, R.K. 2001. TDWG – World Geographical Scheme for Recording Plant Distributions, 2nd Edition
Primary references

Britton, N.L. & Rose, J.N. 1922. The Cactaceae. Descriptions and Illustrations of Plants of the Cactus Family. Vol. 3. 255 pp. + 23 pl. Carnegie Institution of Washington. BHL PDF Reference page. : 3: 184.

Additional references

Korotkova, N., Aquino, D., Arias, S., Eggli, U., Franck, A. , Gómez-Hinostrosa, C., Guerrero, P.C., Hernández, H.M., Kohlbecker, A., Köhler, M., Luther, K., Majure, L.C., Müller, A., Metzing, D., Nyffeler, R., Sánchez, D., Schlumpberger, B. & Berendsohn, W.G. 2021. Cactaceae at Caryophyllales. org–a dynamic online species-level taxonomic backbone for the family. Willdenowia 51(2): 251–270. DOI: 10.3372/wi.51.51208 Open access Reference page.


Korotkova, N. et al. 2021. Astrophytum capricorne in Cactaceae at A global synthesis of species diversity in the angiosperm order Caryophyllales. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Nov 13. Reference page.
International Plant Names Index. 2019. Astrophytum capricorne. Published online. Accessed: Jul 13 2019.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2021. Astrophytum capricorne in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2021 Mar 04. Reference page. 2019. Astrophytum capricorne. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2019 Jul 13.
USDA, ARS, Germplasm Resources Information Network. Astrophytum capricorne in the Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN), U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Accessed: 2021 Mar 04.

Vernacular names
English: Goat's Horn Cactus
español: Beznaga de Estropajo, Birrete de Obispo, Mechudo, Peyotillo
suomi: Sarvipiispanhattu

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